Listen guys, I hate Joe Lieberman as much as the next guy but if you're upset about him, you're a dupe, and you're being manipulated by characters in a holiday pageant. He's not the problem; he's the designated villain. His seat is perfectly safe, he can't be recalled, and you'll all forget about this in three years when he's up for re-election. It's much more fun to be angry at him than the real villains, because the truth is really depressing. President Obama and the Democratic leadership are handing billions of dollars to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries and have scripted a drama to carefully shape public opinion to believe that this was the best they could do.
The Senate does not need 60 votes to pass health care legislation. The Republicans wielded power like a bludgeon when they controlled the Senate and weren't concerned with what anyone thought of it. The Democrats could pass a single-payer national health plan if they wanted to and they could do it in the Senate with 50 votes plus the Vice-President if they really wanted, either by using a budget reconciliation process or by changing the rules. Medicare passed in 1965 with only 55 votes; if the Senate had observed this fictional 60-vote threshold we wouldn't have that program today. The idea that somehow Joe Lieberman or Ben Nelson, or any one of these Senators is so important to this process is simply political theater. The bill that we are going to be left with is exactly the bill that the insurance industry wants, the bill that was agreed to in secret meetings at the White House earlier this year. And being upset at and blaming Joe Lieberman is a vital component to the manipulation of public opinion. If public opinion were to suddenly shift, and Democrats directed their anger at Obama" well that is the only thing that might stop the giveaway to the insurance industry. Rahm Emmanuel reads polls; it's the only thing besides emails from lobbyists he reads in their entirety.
I do not support this health care bill. Call your Senators and tell them you oppose it too. It is a bad bill, and the Democrats want this so badly they are likely to try again with a slightly better version. There is nothing left in this bill but a mandate to force people to buy insurance and a law banning the exclusion of pre-existing conditions. Given the choice between sending a message that the liberal base of the Democratic party will not be taken for granted and abused and giving up on one lousy tiny piece of insurance reform (this is not a once-in-a-generation chance) it should not be difficult for anyone who cares about this issue to oppose the President.